Experiencing Overflowing Joy In God’s Story, In Our Story: 12th Day of Christmas

The Story:  A Kingdom Torn In Two

Slide4The early history of David’s Kingdom that became divided:  Rehoboam King of Judah (southern two tribes with Jerusalem as captial) vs. Jeroboam King of Israel (northern ten tribes with Shechem as captial)

Rehoboam – Feared taxing his people lighter than had his father King Solomon.  So he sought counsel from those older/wiser; as well as, from his peers/young colleagues.  He inquired not the counsel of God.  He disastrously chose the counsel of his peers.  From whom do you get your counsel?  Who are you listening to?

Jeroboam – Creates/shapes religion for his own purposes/taste/convenience.  He listened to his own voice and followed his own heart.  Are you taking counsel from your own self without regard to what is important to God?

My Story…

The past three years I was a caregiver for my husband who had a very rare terminal brain disease.  Beginning on the date of diagnosis, November 6, 2012, he endured every hour of each day knowing his brain was dying.  As we began this journey late in 2010 we did not know what was before us.   What we did know, something wasn’t right.  His cognitive and motor abilities were declining for reasons unknown, even to the best medical doctors in our local area.

Like Rehoboam and Jeroboam my humanness/ego came to the surface numerous times in this journey, usually when I was put in a situation that was unfamiliar and/or I was ill-prepared for.  Unlike our two kings one thing I did know was we were thrust into a situation that required three things first and foremost:   faith in God, hope, and love.  And when these three are in place peace and joy follows.  Much like the Advent Wreath – Peace, Hope, Joy, and Love when bound together signify the Light of Christ.  And Christ’s light (even when I/we couldn’t/wouldn’t see it) guided us every day of our three plus years of caring for one for another.

Three prayers helped me along the way – The Lord’s Prayer, The Serenity Prayer and John Wesley’s Daily Prayer. Keeping these words close to my heart helped me keep the faith, hope…fully and love sacrificially.

Barb Rich

What spiritual practices (means of grace) help you to keep the hope and love of Christ close to your heart?

Suggest Scripture Readings for the Season of Christmas:
Sunday:  Romans 16:25-27
Monday:  Psalm 118:24
Tuesday:  Hebrews 1:1-12
Wednesday:  Nehemiah 8:10
Thursday:  Psalm 40:1-10
Friday:  Isaiah 64:1-9
Saturday: Matthew 5:13-16

About faithumchurch

Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio
This entry was posted in Advent, Devotions, Discipleship, Spiritual Practices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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